UK's first pay-per-mile road charge under consideration in LondonFri, 30/06/2017
Motorists driving in London could soon be charged on the distance they cover under new pollution-busting pay-as-you-go plans by the Mayor.
Martin Saarinen, AutoExpress, reports:
London could become the first city in the UK to introduce a pay-per-mile charge on drivers, under new plans by the Mayor of London to reduce car use in the capital by three million a day. The proposed road charging scheme could replace the existing Congestion Charge in the future.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, announced a new draft consultation report titled the Mayor's Transport Strategy today that outlines new measures to tackle pollution in the city. The proposals include charging motorists on the distance they drive in the city centre alongside other measures to cut car use.
The Strategy proposes “more sophisticated road user charging and/or workplace parking levy schemes,” in the future. It also includes proposals on “a future scheme that reflects distance, time, emissions and road danger and other factors in an integrated way.” How much and exactly how drivers would be charged is yet to be determined.
According to the report, the road charging system could replace the existing Congestion Charge where motorists are charged a flat rate of £11.50 when entering the city centre. The report points out that in the 14 years after the Congestion Charge was introduced, "the challenge facing central London has changed," as more cars are now driving in the city centre during periods where the charge is not enforced. As such, the Mayor proposes keeping all of London's current user charges, including the low emissions zones and ultra low emissions zones "under review."
The Mayor hopes the penalties will push more motorists towards public transport. Sadiq Khan has said he is aiming to reduce the number of car journeys made on London’s roads by three million a day and increase the proportion of journeys taken by public transport from 64 to 80 per cent.
The Strategy also sets out improving road safety in London. The Mayor, through Transport for London (TfL), police, as well as local boroughs is adopting a Vision Zero where no one is to be killed by a London bus by 2030, and with all deaths and serious injuries eliminated from the capital’s roads by 2041.
The Mayor is also considering introducing a measure called “healthy routes” where pedestrians and cyclists would be given priority and roads and parking places would be turned into cycle lanes and pedestrian zones.
The consultation will run until 2 October 2017.
Sadiq Khan said: “As London’s population is set to increase beyond 10 million, our future health and prosperity is more and more dependent on us reducing our reliance on cars.
“We have to be ambitious in changing how our city works. While there will be 5m additional journeys being made across our transport network by 2041, at the same time we’re setting ourselves a bold target of reducing car journeys by 3m every day.
“We have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option for Londoners going about their daily lives. This is not only essential for dealing with congestion as London grows, but crucial for reducing our toxic air pollution and improving the health of all Londoners.”
Air pollution is a growing problem, and therefore reducing the amount of traffic in built up areas should be a top priority.